Early Years Foundation Stage
Early Years Teacher: Mrs Lesley Lahey
Early Years Teaching Assistant: Miss Rebecca Crawford (until 22.10.21); Mrs Paula Jackson (from 1.11.21)
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) applies to children from birth to the end of the
Reception year. At Barrowford St Thomas CE Primary School children join at the start of the Reception year, in which the children turn 5 and complete the foundation stage. In partnership with parents and carers we enable the children to begin the process of becoming active learners
The EYFS is based upon four themes
- A unique child
- Positive relationships
- Enabling environments
- Learning and developing
A Unique Child
At Barrowford St Thomas we recognise that every child is a competent learner from birth who can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
All children and their families are valued at Barrowford St Thomas. Children are treated as individuals and have equal access to all provisions available. All children are encouraged to achieve their personal best and planning is adapted to meet the needs of all groups and abilities. Early identification of special needs is crucial to enable staff to support the development of each child. Concerns are always discussed with parents/carers at an early stage and the school’s consultant SENDco is called upon for further information and advice
EYFS Areas of learning and development
There are seven areas of learning and development which shape educational programmes in early years settings.
Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. These three areas, the prime areas, are:
- communication and language;
- physical development;
- personal, social and emotional development.
Our reception children are also supported in four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. The specific areas are:
- understanding the world;
- expressive arts and design.
We are currently in the process of reviewing our EYFS curriculum (2021 - 22).
Currently a variety of topics are planned and these are also adapted to meet the interests of individual pupils and the class; objectives are set according to on-going assessment linked to the early learning goals.
Communication and language development involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.
Physical development involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.
Personal, social and emotional development involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities.
Literacy development involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest.
Mathematics involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measures.
Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.
Expressive arts and design involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology.
Play Based Learning
Well planned play, both indoors and outdoors is one of the key ways in which children
learn. It is the process through which children can explore, investigate, recreate and come
to understand their world. It is not just imaginative play and role play but includes
spontaneous, self-initiated lines of inquiry and exploration. Play is a vital component of
children’s lives. It is an important way skills are developed and practised. Play is essential for
physical, intellectual, linguistic, emotional, and behavioural and social development.
Principles of High Quality Play
- Play is an intrinsic part of children’s learning and development.
- Play has many possible but no prescriptive outcomes.
- Play challenges children and offers them the chance to learn in breadth and depth.
- Play draws on what children already know and can do and enables them to master what is new.
- Play enables children to apply existing knowledge and to practise their skills
- Play encourages children to communicate with others as they investigate or solve
- Play offers children opportunities to explore feelings and relationships, ideas,
and materials, connections and consequences.
- Play empowers children to make choices, to solve problems and to be independent in their learning.
- Play enables children to express fears or relive anxious experiences in controlled and safe situations.
- Play encourages children to struggle, to take risks and to become resilient as learners.
- Play can be supported and extended but not interfered with by adults.
- Play presents no barriers to children because of their language, cultures, abilities or gender
Role of the adult
- To observe child-initiated play to understand and provide for their interests and
- To plan and resource a challenging indoor and outdoor environment.
- To support children’s learning through planned play activity.
- To extend and support children’s spontaneous/self-initiated play.
- To extend and develop children’s language and communication in their play
- To plan and deliver high quality focussed sessions based on prior learning and next steps of individual children.
At Barrowford St Thomas we are particularly blessed with our outdoor space which runs the full length of the front of our building.
Vision for outdoor provision
- To explore, discover and investigate
- Enjoy large scale movement
- Develop confidence
- Explore and experience all weathers and seasons
- Collect and use natural resources for a specific purpose
- Develop an understanding of our natural environment and how it changes
Outdoor learning is an integral part of the play and learning provision for EYFS. Children will be allowed daily access to the outdoor environment for both continuous provision and focussed activities. Planning recognises that the outdoor classroom is an extension of the indoor area but also an area to provide different opportunities on a larger scale. The outdoor learning environment should be set up daily as a stimulating and inviting space, which supports learning across all areas of learning both Prime and Specific. Children and staff are required to provide suitable clothing and footwear so that the outdoors can be accessed in all weathers.
Daily visual risk assessments are carried out to ensure the area and equipment are safe, this includes checking equipment, checking for litter and animal mess and that the gates are closed. Any issues are reported immediately to the teacher in charge and/or the site manager.
Children have as much access to outdoors as the setting can provide, to allow this, one member of staff are often outside. Staff will facilitate and extend play during outdoor provision, not stand back and watch unless carrying out an observation. Children’s interest should be followed and the practitioner should support this.